Some nights the cards just aren't in your favor.
For the Orlando Magic, that was Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors. Despite holding All-Stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to a combined 21 points, six rebounds and nine assists, the Magic couldn't get enough stops consistently against All-Star and reigning MVP Stephen Curry.
"I felt like we did a very good job on Green and Thompson, [Harrison] Barnes," said Evan Fournier "He [Curry] just took over."
Curry was seemingly able to get whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted against the Magic defense that caused the Warriors from problems early on.
The Magic played with active hands for much of the first half, tipping passes and notching steals, frustrating the Warriors offense. Yet, they were still able to shoot over 52 percent in the half, thanks in large part to their success in the painted area --32 points on 16-of-24 shooting-- and in transition --18 points on 9 of 11 shooting.
The second half was when Curry and the Warriors truly took over.
Behind 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the MVP, the Warriors blasted out a 40 point quarter, stunting any Magic run with a run of their own. The Magic almost matched the Warriors shot for shot, the issue, though, was Golden State was knocking down three's, while the Magic were getting layups, and high flying dunks from Aaron Gordon.
Curry's last shot of the third, a banked in three-pointer form half-court, which nearly blew the roof off the arena, was the biggest, and toughest shot for the Magic on the night. That shot pushed Golden States lead to eight, and swung all of the momentum into their favor.
"It's just ridiculous," said Aaron Gordon when asked about Curry's buzzer beater. "He's been doing that all year long. The fact that he got one again at the end of the quarter makes it difficult, because you can't come back down and try to score right away. To me, we just have to continue to play and not really think much about it."
Generally, the Magic did an OK job on Curry, chasing him around screens and getting up into him, forcing some mistakes. Curry's ability to relax and then quickly attack doomed the Magic.
"He tricked us so many times where he just runs, he stops, he relaxes, he stands up, he causes you to relax, you don't have discipline, and he's gone," said Scott Skiles. "That happened at least a dozen times, and I'll probably see almost 20 times when I look at the tape."
Skiles wasn't happy with how his team defended most of the night, claiming that the only reason they were in the game was their strong play on the offensive end.
Despite putting together an overall good performance together against, potentially, the greatest team of all time, the Magic weren't able to overcome Curry's historical night.
With his first three-pointer in the first quarter, Curry became the NBA's all-time leader in consecutive games with a three-pointer made at 128. His 51 points were the fifth most scored by an opposing Magic player in a single game, and his six third quarter three's helped lead him to the record for most three's made against the Magic by a single player in a game. The Davidson product also became the first player in NBA history to score 50 points while attempting one or fewer free throws.
It was a special performance all night by Curry, and even though the Magic fought and clawed for much of the night, their best just simply wasn't enough on Thursday night.
"Are you guys surprised? I'm not," quipped Fournier, who said that was the first time he got his butt whooped like that by a single player in a game.
It was a historical night in Orlando, and at the end of the day, the Magic were yet again on the wrong side of that history.